Thursday, January 19, 2012
There's "Kane". There's "Bicycle Thief". "Greed" of course (though who the hell has ever really seen it?) "Rules Of the Game", "La Dolce Vita", "Wild Strawberries" and I suppose a few more too famous to mention. On and on--ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Face it, the GREATEST FILMS OF ALL TIMES LIST has largely remained the same over the past fifty years. Stuffy, academic and proper as a maiden aunt. So why don't we shake the tree a bit and introduce a few new concepts?
Let's begin with the fact that filmed storytelling generally needs to be incredibly functional to be incredibly satisfying. Why this is true is a mystery. The musical play is somewhat the same--fat has no place in this art form, or if it does it's strictly for fatheads. Digressions, diversions, excursions--you can do them, and a few people will appreciate the effort (or pretend to) but in the end we are dealing with bread and circuses. Hold your audience, surprise and move them, top your best emotional moments and/or gags and you've got a great film. Or at least one that people will enjoy and watch more than once--which, in a gloriously down-and-dirty economically based medium like film, is what truly counts.
My vote for the tightest, best executed, most enjoyable demonstration of the above theory follows. Frame by frame, inch by inch, I find this film as satisfying, enjoyable and moving an adventure as any of the above named masterpieces. I hearby go on record and nominate, as an utterly worthy and deserving addition to the pantheon...
Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 7:47 AM